Anglo trio deny hiding accounts linked to FitzPatrick
Three former Anglo Irish Bank officials have gone on trial accused of hiding accounts connected to former chairman Sean FitzPatrick from the Revenue Commissioners.
Former Anglo company secretary Bernard Daly (65), of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin; former chief operations officer Tiarnan O'Mahoney (54), of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow; and Aoife Maguire (60), of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin, have pleaded not guilty to offences allegedly committed in 2003 and 2004.
Yesterday, a jury of six men and six women heard that the case revolves around non-resident bank accounts held by Anglo. The Revenue investigated such accounts in the late 1990s and early 2000s to see if they were bogus and if Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) was owed on them as a result.
Mr Daly, Mr O'Mahoney and Ms Maguire are all accused of a conspiracy to delete references to two accounts in the name of Mr FitzPatrick's brother-in-law, John Peter O'Toole, from the bank's computer database known as the Core Banking System (CBS).
Mr Daly and Mr O'Mahoney deny leaving Mr O'Toole's name off a list provided to Revenue of people who held non-resident accounts with a balance of more than €100,000 in 1995. Mr O'Mahoney and Ms Maguire deny attempting to delete six other accounts connected to Mr FitzPatrick from Anglo's CBS.
In his opening address, prosecutor Dominic McGinn SC said following an audit in the context of an examination of bogus non-resident accounts in all banks, Revenue obtained a court order in March 2003 directing Anglo to provide a snapshot list of its non-resident accounts containing over €100,000 from March 1990, 1995 and 1999.
A team was set up in Anglo by Mr Daly, with Mr O'Mahoney in a supervisory role, to provide these lists. Ms Maguire was put on the team but she worked separately from them and reported only to Mr O'Mahoney. Mr McGinn said Ms Maguire was put on the team specifically to influence attempts to hide references to the accounts of Mr O'Toole.
The prosecution says that Mr Daly and Mr O'Mahoney also approached other members of the team asking them to omit Mr O'Toole's account from the lists. When these team members refused they were reassigned.
Mr McGinn said that in November 2003 Anglo submitted a list to Revenue omitting the O'Toole account, an omission the prosecution says was deliberate because the account was connected to Sean FitzPatrick.
At some stage in 2004, attempts were made to delete references to eight accounts from Anglo's CBS, which is supposed to be a perfect record of the bank's transactions, added Mr McGinn. The court heard a common theme of these accounts were that they were connected in some way to Mr FitzPatrick, although some were connected to Mr O'Mahoney. IT staff in the bank were uncomfortable deleting the records from the CBS but they did "archive" them, meaning they were harder to get to.
The trial, expected to last until the end of July, continues.